Greetings In That Precious Name of Our Great God & Saviour, The Lord Jesus Christ:
"Our Great God & Saviour-The Lord Jesus Christ." We love this title for Yeshua/Jesus, which is a key to the revelation of the Godhead in Christ Jesus. God's intention is that as people meditate upon these truthes, they will gain strength from our Lord's word. "Our Great God & Saviour's unchanging word." Your understanding of the Godhead is vital. It's foundational and God wants you to build upon the Rock, so when the storms blow, your house will stand.
Knowing God by revelation through His eternal word, is so important that God didn't simply entrust it to intellectual study. He gave this understanding by revelation
John 1:18 reads, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The parallel passage in Luke 10:22 reads, "no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."
This title of "Great God & Saviour," for Yeshua/Jesus is found in Titus 2:13. The writer is identifying who our Great God is! How often wethink of the Lord as Saviour, but the disciple Thomas called Him "God" like the Apostle Paul refers to Him here. He was made both Lord (God) AND Christ. John on the Isle of Patmos saw Christ as "Almighty." (Rev. 1:8)
Jude 24-25 24 states:
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. (RSV)
Titus was a fellow labourer of the Apostle Paul, whom Paul left on the isle of Crete, to finish some necessary tasks and to appoint elders in every city. Paul talks of the qualities which make a good church elder or leader, such as excellence in family leadership, and having ones children in subjection. The ability to gain the trust of others, neither overbearing nor quick tempered, not given to violent outbursts nor pursuing dishonest gain. Basically an individual who is grounded in sound doctrine, that lives out of his or her faith in God's word, with integrity.
The apostle states in this verse that we are "looking for that blessed hope...The appearing of our Great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." It's more than hope my friend. It's a blessed hope, that we are commanded to watch for. Why? Because that One who is coming again, without sin, isn't just anybody. He's our Great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ! HE is coming again!
"So inasmuch as it is appointed unto man to die and after that the judgment, so Mashiach/Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, without sin, to those who wait for Him. (Heb. 9:28) What happens when He appears? Then we who believe shall appear "with Him" in glory! How do we appear with Him in glory? Legally, we are seated in heavenly places with Him now, but the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, with the trump of God, and the dead in Mashiach/Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:13-16) Isn't that something to shout about?
PAUL CATCHES UP WITH THE ONE HE LEFT BEHIND TO WORK IN THE HARVEST FIELD
In his letter to Titus, Paul states that the grace of God has appeared unto all men, teaching us... (Titus 2:11) Did you know that grace can teach? It teaches us excellent things, as we read in Prov. 8:6, for Christ is made unto us the wisdom of God. The scriptures teach that in the end times, there will be seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1)
One of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith that is under fire, and being distorted by many these days, is that of the doctrine of grace. In Titus, the Apostle Paul gives the biblical definition of the grace that saves, as this:
"It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. " (Titus 2:2-13)
This definition reiterates James words concerning grace coupled with works. We are saved "by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works that any man should boast." But by obeying the words of Yeshua/Jesus, and abiding in "The Vine," who is Mashiach/Christ, we will produce much fruit. There will be an out-flow of the Christ-life! I once heard this statement in a meeting: God's grace has flowed to you, let it flow through you! If you have been a recipient of God's miraculous and marvellous grace, release it and let it flow from your life. But understand what grace is. It's not pseudo love nor an accomodation of sin.
There's a definate place for just saying "No," and for rejecting the "manic tolorance" that Ryan Dobson speaks of in his new book "Be Intolerant!" The world without a saving faith in Jesus Christ, sees no absolute truth, such as is revealed in God's word, and personified in Jesus Christ who is the Truth, the Life, the Way, so individuals are encouraged to accept any version of right or wrong that "feels right" to them personally. As children of God, the bible teaches us that there are times and situations which are definately not be be tolerated, and God's unchanging word outlines these very carefully.
We are not to compromise the truth of God's unchanging word by accomodating that which is evil,or winking at what is unholy, ungodly and unjust. Rather we must seek the God kind of faith through prayer that we might see lasting change, teach, and where there is opposition, we must reprove, and rebuke with all longsuffering, for the times is coming when men will not endure sound doctrine.
TO HIM THE PORTER OPENETH
The Lord entrusted us as believers with the propagation of the gospel. Yeshua said: Go, into all the world and make disciples. (Matt. 28:19) As God's family, as all have to some degree, the care of the church, even if we aren't leaders. Paul states this concerning Titus: For this reason I left you behind in Crete...That you might set in order what remains. Paul the Apostle has been in the city, preaching and teaching. It was so wonderful just to sit under the revelatory teaching of the man. But now he's gone on down the road on his missionary journey. With all of your heart, if it were you, you may have wished to say: Can I go with you? But he has delegated authority to you to remain where you are, to establish the church in what he has seen the need of, and set things in order.
Do you ever feel left behind? The truth is that Titus was faithful and the Apostle Paul knew that even without Paul's supervision, he would do an excellent job! Paul calls him "my true child in a common faith." Paul had given his life the the sake of the gospel, and God rewarded him. Titus was Paul's "son in the faith."
Perhaps you are widowed, divorced, or single for some reason, or your family has been taken from you, or you do not have the children you so desired. But if you remain faithful, God will give you sons and daughters in the faith, just as He gave Paul. They they will help you to be all God has called you to be, in Mashiach/Christ, and you will mentor them.
Titus was there appointing elders in various cities, in Paul's absence. He was no novice, but obviously possessed qualities of maturity and discernment, with a number of spiritual gifts operating in his life no doubt. He knew how to pray and to hear God. You are a wife, weary from your day job. Your husband is working overtime in another city. You've cleaned house, cooked dinner and the sink of dishes is facing you. Pray diligently, and open the word to your children, friends, neighbors as the Heavenly Porter gives you revelation. Or if you're a teenage daughter, whose mother has said: Fold those clothes! Grow, as your Saviour when He walked this earth, grew in favor with God and man. He was not rebellious. He didn't turn away back. Perhaps you are a migrant worker, or the son or daughter of a migrant worker, who feels you have no field of your own. Allow the Heavenly Husbandman to teach you even in the midst of that vineyard. If you are a believer, God has placed you in your very own field as a watchman, to gather fruit for His kingdom. You may think of yourself as the hired help. But see this through the Great Commission of Yeshua/Jesus: Go and make disciples of all nations. Begin in the city where you are, by being a faithful servant, as Mashiach/Christ was over all His house.
If you are a believer, you are a son or daughter of the Most High God. Allow God to develope qualities of leadership in you, as you yield to Him in faith. One of God's names or titles, is "The God Who Sees Me." He sees in secret but He rewards openly the scriptures teach us.
THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT INSTRUCTIONS
In Titus brief letter, in which the Apostle tells Titus to set things in order, and establish elders, Paul addresses the following issues, fully expecting Titus to transmit these things to the church, including information warning against false teachers:
....The godly qualities which God considers significant of Christian men, both young and old.
(a) Self Control: Self control is one of the fruits of the Spirit that show the presence of the living Christ in the life of the Christian. Basic to self control is an understanding of the authority of God's word which has been entrusted to the believer. You don't have to excuse away negative behaviours and bad habits with "I can't help it!" The man or woman of God is not "helpless." We have the Helper, also called The Comforter to assist us in all that we do in the name of Yeshua haMashiach/Christ. Through the power of our faith in God's word, we can live a victorious, overcoming live through Jesus Christ.
(b) Worthy of respect: Obviously there are behaviours which a man can engage in which do not gain him respect, and these must cease in a man's life, that he may become a vessel of honour fit for the Master's use. God sanctifies an individual for Christian service. This means He cleanses, anoints and uses them for His own high calling--His own excellent and divine will and purpose. For His glory!
(c) Sound in faith: Not easily shaken.
(d) Possessing God's love: And demonstrating it. (e) Endurance: To not only run the race, but to finish it. 1 Peter talks of enduring grief for conscience sake. James pronounces a blessing on those who endure, whereas Matthew teaches us of the final aspect of salvation stating: He that endures to the end shall be saved. (Matt. 24:13)
(f) Doing what is good. In chapter 3:3, Paul reminds us that we too, were once foolish, deceived, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things which we had done, but because of His mercy... Good works are the fruit, or by-product of abiding in the Vine. (John 15)
(g) In teaching demonstrate integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech. That cannot be condemned, and so those who oppose you might be ashamed because they can say nothing bad about you. Paul writes to us in Titus of the importance of Christian hospitality. Showing hospitality should be done prayerfully and wisely, but it does not have to be dispensed with because of the state of the society in which we live. In showing hospitality, we entertain angels unawares.
Rahab demonstrated her faith in showing hospitality to the 2 Israelite spies, (Joshua 2) at a time when doing so would have been considered treason in her land, and could have cost her, her life. During a time of war, Jael demonstrated hospitality to Sisera, a terrorist leader that was related to her by marriage, as a war maneuver in which she put him out of commission and this brave and bold action brought victory for Israelite people. (Judges 4)
The disciple Ananias was commanded of the glorified Lord Jesus Christ to show hospitality to former terrorist Saul of Tarsus. (Acts 9) When Jesus appeared to Ananias with a definate word, there was a release of faith in the disciples heart, where previously there was fear. Hospitality is one of the earmarks of the New Testament church, which in New Testament times yet flourished in spite of severe persecution, because God's people "heard God's voice," and plac-ed their trust in Him. Do a study on biblical hospitality, and being lead of the Lord Jesus Christ in all that you do, for these go hand in hand. If you've never seen an angel in your entire life, the bible bible teaches us that hospitality creates a place for, and accomodates angelic visitations. So if you like angels hovering near all of the time, be given to hospitality.
.....The Apostle Paul speaks of the destructive power of idle conversation.
(a) Women, includingolder women, are admonished to be reverent, in a world that has become incredibly irreverent, and disrespectful, with women frequently being the target of this lack of respect. The challenge for women today, is to sow respect, so that a bountiful harvest in this area can also be reaped.
(b) Don't become slanderers.
Blatent slander lacks revelation from the Lord. It's spewed out of the belly of hell as gossip of the worst form, with envy at it's tap root. It's a demonic assault intended to displace those Christian workers whom God has established and blessed.
(c) Nor addicted to alcohol. Addictions of all sorts abound, but there is a far better place to go with ones problems, and it's to the Lord Jesus Christ. While He walked on earth, He was tested in all points as we yet without sin, and He is touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. Don't hide from God because you are ashamed and embarrass- ed because of your weakness, but come boldly before God's throne of grace, to avail yourself often of the power of God's loving forgiveness which flows to us from the atoning work of Calvary. His glorified body bears the marks of the tremendous sacrifice which He paid for our salvation, and He alone has the power to resolve ones personal problems and to work those miracles that we desire. "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit! Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father, for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:18)
(d) The guild of hypocrisy. Jesus stated to Nathaniel that he was an Israelite in whom was no guile, and he would have an open heaven. In this we see "revelation" linked to a heart cleansed of defiling influences, so one can be blesed with a pure heart and "see God."
(e) Engaging in strife. Paul warns against always engaging in topics which gender strife. A friend of mine liked to make remarks to her husband: and one day said: When are you going to get saved and filled with the Holy Ghost? He remarked "When I'm not afraid of ghosts." The key to changes we long to see in others often is related to a change in strongholds Satan has sown in their thinking. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God, (James 1:20) so why purposely "pick a fight " with your spouse, children, friend, or co-worker. (Titus 3:9) Rather, be patient, apt to teach, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves. (2 Tim. 2:25)
(f) Train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, busy at home, kind, in subjection to their husbands, so none will malign God's word. In a world where one in 2 marriages ends in divorce, the church has also been impacted, with this seemingly simple solution to ones marital problems.
Often times the real need is to mature in Christ, be renewed in mind to God's word, to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God, to develope in the fruits of the Spirit that those who abide in Him, might walk "even as our Saviour walked. " (1 John 1:6) Christian converts, although they have the nature of the Saviour via the new birth, nevertheless can use training and the testimonies of others concerning God's agape, or sacrificial love, as demonstrated in marriage, (Eph. 5:22) and how to handle the demonic assault, and worldly views of relatives and others concerning marriage.
There is a great need to disciple single women too, and in addition to bible studies, some excellent books have been written, such as Josh Harris book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," as a biblical alternative, for getting to know the opposite sex in a chaperoned Christian environment, that relationships of love and purity might be maintained. "The Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty," by Dannah Gresh, addresses the topic of biblical modesty, in a society where peer pressure abounds, and the fashion industry pushes immodest apparel, the wearing of which for a Christian women is sin. Discover the connection between ones apparel, and internal humility and why God is concerned about every aspect of our lives. These books are available from your local Christian bookstore.
Hoping this finds you well and happy, and growing up in Christ in all things, for He is the Head of the church. Here in Washington state, we have been blessed this summer with exceptionally nice weather. Tom's work schedule, our family responsibilities and ministry have kept us closer to home this year, and able to complete projects which needed to be done here. God has been showing us the absolute necessity of discernment and of being anointed with fresh oil, so we can witness the miraculous transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ in neighbors, co-workers, and others. We have seen God doing a "new thing"in our lives and area right here in our own home base and community, with rivers springing forth in areas which had been desert places. This was something promised us prophetically by the Lord through the director of Generals of Intercession, Cindy Jacobs, who said by the word of the Lord:
You live in a dry, dry place, but it's going to blossom like a rose. This "new manifestation of God's abundant life" for us, as well as many we know, has followed on the heels of some 3-3 1/2 years of major trials. One prophetic minister who recently wrote an incredibly encouraging prophetic teaching with regard to this prophetic season, entitled "Let's Do It Again," is minister Kelly Varner.
The fiery trials and pressures, many from the ungodly, and afflictions such as illnesses and financial troubles, have been tremendous for multitudes of Christian believers. But God has allowed this season to strengthen His body of believers, the church. We must not let go of the promises of God nor the vision He has given us for our lives and Christian service. As the scriptures state: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all."
God continues to reveal to us in prayer, that the terrorism which has been visited upon America is still flourishing, and it is no time to just assume that there is little need to "watch and pray." When Christians fail to pray, they do not "hear the prophetic warnings from God," that the Lord intends to serve as a protection for the people of God. God has divine protection for you and those you love "as in the days of Noah."
Never has there been greater need to "shake sleep," and to keep one's eyes open, and not to be as those foolish in of the Parable of the Ten Virgins, who allowed the oil to go out of their lamps. (Matt. 25:1) God shall say to some..."Depart from Me, for I never knew you." The term for "know" here means a close relationship.
Perilous times have already set in. (2 Tim. 3:1) As the bible warns, this shall increase, with evil men and seducers waxing worse and worse, that eventually, "As a snare deception shall come upon the whole world..." (Rev. 3:10) But...believers, whom the Lord has justified through faith in His shed blood, are children of the day, and not of the night, who shine as lights-and whose path is brightened more and more until that perfect day.
God has warned of terror cells in all 4 corners of America, stating prophetically that in major cities and states such as San Francisco, Florida, and Maine, terrorists, are meeting in out-lying areas, where they feel greater freedom to move about and devise plans undetected.
Areas to pray about: America's borders and coastlands Customs officers who are discerning, watchful and alert, not tempted to carelessness nor slothfulness. That those hiring for positions in government agencies will be cautious, in hiring new aplicants. That Americans will be careful in guarding personal identification documents, so these do not fall into the hands of unscrupulous individuals. As you live in Christ, moving under His anointing, God we will see God raise up "saviours on Mt. Zion," as He has spoken in His word. The Lord recently spoke prophetically saying He will use the anointing to expose terrorists and to frighten them so that at times, they will literally flee back to where they came from. Be silent when God says to keep silent, open your mouth in wisdom at all times, and in Christ's righteousness, be "bold as a lion," and show forth Christ in demonstration of the Spirit and power. Love the family of God and stay unified, trees of righteousness, firmly rooted, not tossed about, even when the storm winds blow!
Because of Mercy, the Campbells
. (1 Timothy 1:17)
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen"
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